Nets hope to slow down Wizards after tough loss


Despite a hard-fought effort and an invisible arrow war, The Nets (8-21) fell short in overtime 119-118 to the visiting Dallas Mavericks (16-13) on Wednesday. Closing games have been a consistent issue for this Nets squad, but the woes have usually manifested on the offensive end. In this case, the Nets allowed the Mavericks to shoot 54.9 percent, including 16-of-34 from three point range; they had no solutions for fill-in starter J.J. Barea, who had himself a game (32 points, 11 assists). As Jarrett Jack’s jumper misfired during the final seconds in overtime, the Nets were once again left defeated with little answers.

“It felt good to fight. It felt like we left it all out there,” said Jarrett Jack. “But we’re not into moral victories. When we put that type of effort on the court, we have to come away with Ws.”

The focus now shifts to the Washington Wizards (13-14), winners of three straight, including a 100-91 victory at home over the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday. Playing without leading scorer Bradley Beal for the last seven games (stress fracture in leg), and without Nene (left calf injury) for the past 14, the Wizards have held the down the fort thanks to key contributions from their supporting cast.

Garrett Temple, now in his fourth season with the Wizards, has started six of the last seven games at shooting guard and scored at least 20 points during this three game streak. It’s his three highest scoring games since entering the NBA in 2009. Temple, averaging 3.9 points for his career, has also shot 10-of-22 (45.4 pct) from behind the arc the past three games.

Forward Jared Dudley, in his first year with the Wizards, has started 13 of the past 14 games and currently leads the NBA in three-point shooting at 48.7 percent.

Two-time All-Star point guard John Wall is averaging 19.4 points, 9.6 assists, and 2.1 steals.

The Nets and Wizards split the four games last season but the last two games ended with unusual and coincidental outcomes. The Nets lost by 37 points (114-77) to the Wizards in Washington on February 7th, and then defeated the Wizards by 37 points (117-80) in Brooklyn on April 10th. The instance marked the only time in Nets history where the team lost to an opponent by 35-plus points and then defeated that same opponent by 35-plus points the next time they played them. Weird, wild stuff.

Third-year small forward Otto Porter has missed the last three games with a thigh injury and is questionable to play this afternoon.

Milestone watch: Center Brook Lopez needs eight field goals to tie Vince Carter for second in franchise history.

Tip-off is at 4:00 EDT at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.